With unfailing enthusiasm, generosity and pride, you have served Smith College for more than 50 years, leaving virtually no corner of our campus, no aspect of our programs, untouched by your energy and commitment to your alma mater.
From your days as an art major and as a student receptionist at the Tryon Gallery – a job for which you earned 50 cents an hour – you have been a supporter and champion of the Smith College Museum of Art and its collections, serving for at least two decades in leadership roles on the Museum’s Visiting Committee and as a member of the Tryon Associates. Your commitment to the study of art has included support for the renowned Smith College Print Workshops – for which you have not only suggested artists but found welcome homes for the prints they produce at Smith. You are recognized as “the heart and soul” of contemporary works on paper at the Museum, championing their acquisition and stewardship in the college’s collections. The Oresman Gallery in the Brown Fine Arts Center is a vital resource for students, faculty, staff and the local community, presenting important works by visiting artists.
An independent art adviser and curator, you have shaped the art collections of a number of major corporations, including Amerada Hess, Chemical Bank, Lehman Brothers and Champion Paper, and have organized numerous museum and gallery exhibitions across the country. You speak and write for diverse audiences on the role and value of art in the workplace and on the purpose of collecting. You are president of the board of the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art; a board member of the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, which administers the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards; and a past board chair of the International Print Center of New York.
In addition to your support of the museum, libraries and botanic gardens, your service to Smith has encompassed leadership on almost every level: president of your class, chair of the Grécourt Society and membership on the board of trustees from 1992 to 2002. Never one to leave friends behind, you have co-founded an association of former board members to help them remain connected to each other and loyal to the college. Perhaps most importantly, you served as a member of the search committee that selected Smith’s tenth president, Carol T. Christ.
Jan, the depth of your commitment to Smith College is a rare gift, as is the friendship you and Roger have shown to so many generations of Smith alumnae and trustees. It is with deep gratitude that the Board of Trustees presents to you the John M. Greene Award for distinguished service to Smith College.
Mary Patterson McPherson ’57,
Chair, Board of Trustees
October 18, 2007